Impressum

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The German-language Wikipedia has its own Impressum. There is no equivalent for the English-language Wikipedia.

An Impressum (Latin "printed", from imprimĕre "to print") is the term given to a legally mandated statement of the ownership and authorship of a document, which must be included in books, newspapers, magazines[1] and websites[2] published in Germany and certain other German-speaking countries, such as Austria and Switzerland.

There is no equivalent legislation in English-speaking countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States, and therefore no consistent legal term is used in English-language media. The closest English terms for Impressum are:

None of these terms is an exact replacement in all contexts. The terms "masthead" and "colophon" apply to printed publications only and are not commonly used on English-language websites, while "site notice" is website-specific and "legal notice" or "legal disclosure" are rarely found in printed works. An "imprint" in publishing may also mean a brand name under which a work is published,[6] and so may not be understood to mean an Impressum.

Webpages[edit]

The Telemediengesetz ("Telemedia Act") requires that German websites must disclose information about the publisher, including their name and address, telephone number or e-mail address, trade registry number, VAT number, and other information depending on the type of company.[7] German websites are defined as being published by individuals or organisations that are based in Germany, so an Impressum is required regardless of whether a site is in the .de domain.

This law has created privacy concerns for individuals who maintain blogs or personal homepages.[8][9][10] The law has also caused lawyers to scrutinise websites for this information and send cease-and-desist letters to their maintainers in case it is missing.[11][12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ de:Presserecht
  2. ^ de:Telemediengesetz
  3. ^ Duden: "(Buchw.): Vermerk über Verleger, Drucker, auch Redaktionen u.a. in Büchern, Zeitungen u. Zeitschriften"
  4. ^ http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Eliz2/9-10/31/section/1
  5. ^ British Printing Industries Federation (BPIF): Imprint Requirements (doc)
  6. ^ [1] "In the publishing world, the term imprint usually means the name under which a publisher issues books. For example, you may come across a statement such as "Copernicus Books is an imprint of Springer-Verlag."
  7. ^ [2] TMG § 5 Allgemeine Informationspflichten
  8. ^ http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum10/3178.htm
  9. ^ http://petoftheday.com/talk/showthread.php?t=145280
  10. ^ http://osdir.com/ml/gnu.savannah.user/2007-03/msg00007.html
  11. ^ http://www.recht.us/amlaw/2006/11/04#1104impressum
  12. ^ http://transblawg.eu/index.php?/archives/594-U.S.-comment-on-ImpressumGerman-lawyers-cease-and-desist-hunt.html